Capetonian Michael Ryder has made a real difference in his community by installing nets in the canal that passes his home. The Marina da Gama resident set up catchment nets two years ago to prevent pollution from entering into the ocean.

The Mother City received torrential downpour over the weekend. The nets caught a substantial amount of waste, including a large amount of what seems to be industrial polystyrene.

Image: Michael Ryder
Image: Michael Ryder

“A net was there but was old and broken and nobody had attended to it for about 10 years,” said Ryder.

Ryder explained that the council have a contractor who clears the nets weekly, collecting approximately 10 bags every 7 days. Over the weekend however, 3 trailers full of waste were collected.

Image: Michael Ryder

According to Ryder, over the two years that the nets have been installed, over 2 000 bags of waste have been collected.

“The waste all goes to landfill”, explained Ryder, “as it is dirty and contaminated and has come into contact with sewage.”

Ryder has been able to maintain the project with help from the private sector and the Plastic Federation. He is given money to pay employees to regularly clear the nets. After the heavy rains, people are sent by the local council to empty the nets.

Image: Michael Ryder

The action of installing nets is a step in the right direction for protecting the ocean near Marina de Gama, even if it is on a small scale. Every bit of sustainable action that is taken to protect our oceans for future generations is important.

Image: Facebook

Article written by

Imogen Searra